I just bought a darning/quilting foot for my Activa 131 and decided to try it out. I initially forgot I had to lower the feed dogs to use this foot, so I started using it with the feed dogs in the normal position but immediately realized that I had forgotten to lower them. Wel, I lowered them and experimented with my new foot for a while, but when I tried to raise them again they wouldn't come back up. I turned off the machine and then turned it back on to see if that would work but the feed dogs are now stuck in the darning position. Is there any do it yourself solution to this problem or do I have to take it to a professional to get it repaired?
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You need to use a darning presser foot--there are several designs of darning feet made by Bernina or generic brands (be sure the generic model has the appropriate attachment for your particular Bernina). You can find metal or plastic, clear or solid foot, open or closed toe, spring-loaded hopper or not, etc. Drop the feed dogs. If it is thinner fabric (lighter weight than denim), it sometimes helps to put the fabric in an embroidery hoop (upside down with the fabric next to the needle plate). If the hole is small, you can use the little hoop that should have been included in your Bernina accessory kit. Then you manually move the fabric back & forth, up & down under the presser foot while stitching.
#26 is an embroidery foot. Why are you using an embroidery foot for free motion quilting? A #24 free motion embroidery foot will work but not the #26. Try using a darning foot that is just a smidgen shorter so there is space between it and the needleplate for you to freely move the fabric. (Adding a Supreme Slider sheet to the work surface of your machine helps make the fabric glide much smoother.) A standard presser foot is made to press the fabric against the feed dogs so the feed dogs will move the fabric. When free motion quilting, you would drop the feed dogs and move the material with your hands.
Depends which model Bernina you have (new or old style presser feet), which will work on your machine. There are also many generic darning/FMQ feet available that will work on your machine.
Need more info. What kind of Bernina are you using? Feed dogs normally go up and down when sewing to move the fabric forward. Is that what you mean? Or have you lowered the feed dogs to do free motion quilting or darning and now they stay down?
Try using a walking foot. The issue most quilters face when working with any sewing machine is that there is a force being applied to move the bottom fabric but the top fabric is only moving based on friction with the bottom fabric. This can cause the bottom fabric to move quicker than the top. A walking foot helps solve this issue by placing a second set of feed dogs on the top of the fabric to mirror the force being applied on the bottom, allowing both pieces of fabric to move evenly.
The foot is attached as normal, but when you're attaching it, the fork-shaped part that sticks out of the right-hand-side has to be hooked around the round pillar sticking out horizontally from the right-hand-side of the needle bar and that holds the needle securing screw. When the foot is down, you will see that the upwards motion of the needle bar raises the upper set of feed dogs on the walking foot - the whole purpose of the walking foot is to provide, effectively, a set of feed dogs on the top of the material as well as the toothed ones below the stitch plate - this allows multilayered or thick materials to be sewn as when doing quilting.
Hi, when you quilt straight lines using the walking foot, you need the feed dogs up, to move the fabric in a straight direction under the needle. When you do free motion quilting, which is done with a darning foot, your hands move the fabric in many different directions. Since you want to be the one to move the fabric, you put the feed dogs down and you do the work. So when you use the walking foot, keep your feed dogs up. When you use the darning foot, feed dogs down.